Whitespotted Dogfish

© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit2


possession limit4


boat limit5

Bag and possession limits are for sharks and rays other than school, gummy, mako, blue, or elephantfish combined. Boat limit is for all shark and ray species combined, excluding elephantfish.

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size

Measure shark species either from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail, or for headed and tailed shark, from the back gill slit to the base of the tail. More information.

Other names

spiny dogfish, spiky dogfish, spurdog, white spotted spurdog

Scientific name

Squalus acanthias

Grows to

Up to

1 meter

Identifying features

​A small shark with grey to bluish grey on the back and white on the belly.  They have pale white spots on flanks when younger and two spines on the dorsal fins.

​​​​​​Area restrictions

Do not take in shark refuge areas. 


The dorsal and pectoral fins must remain attached to all shark until they are landed.​​​


Whitespotted dogfish are found on sandy bottom all around Tasmania from 1-600 metres depth.

Fishing Information

These small sharks are sometimes found in large numbers in the recreational rod and line fishery for flathead in Bass Strait but are not normally retained due to their small size and coarse eating quality.  Fishers are advised to catch and release this species even when there appear to be large numbers of them.


Dogfish have two sharp spines on their dorsal fins and fishers need to take care when handling.  Fishers may confuse this species with a gummy shark at first, only to be stung by the spine barbs when attempting to release the hook.


Produces small, white, coarse fillets that are not widely popular in Tasmania.​


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

What to report? arrow button

Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647

Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: fishing.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au